No need for test if Covid patient recovers, in good health: Experts | Ranchi News


Ranchi: Medical experts in the state have recommended that recovered Covid-19 patients and those who have mild symptoms should not be tested before their discharge from healthcare centres but sent for 10-day home isolation.
The recommendations came six months after the pandemic hit the state and various changes were made in protocols of quarantine, isolation, treatment and discharge procedures. After having dealt with a total of over 87,000 infections, the experts now said repetitive tests, which can show positive results, have severe adverse impacts on these patients. They have negligible chances of infecting others but suffer from anxiety and depression even after the beating the virus because of the results, the experts said.
Talking to TOI, Dr Jitendra Kumar, a senior microbiologist at the CCL Central Hospital here said, “In asymptomatic patients, the virus load is less and weakened while patients showing symptoms have the virus multiplying inside them. But once the patients recover after a week-long treatment and are in good health, they should not be tested again. The test results might return positive but the virus has been either eliminated or is present in very little amount.”
He further said, “There is only one way such a patient can infect another person — transmission by droplets of body fluids through coughing or sneezing. But when the potent source is eliminated, the presence of the less potent virus in the droplets becomes negligible thereby making chances of infecting others very bleak.”
The experts also said asymptomatic patients should not worry after getting repetitive positive results from the RT-PCR method as researches by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention of the Union ministry of health and family welfare has categorically said the RT-PCR can continue to detect “dead” virus fragments for the next three months even after recovery.
Dr Jitendra said, “RT-PCR test is considered the gold standard for detection of viruses in swab samples and it is the best possible way to determine infectiousness by amplifying the genetic material of a virus. But the mere presence and detection of amplified genetic material don’t confirm the effectiveness of the microorganisms (the Covid virus in this case). So, RT PCR is a method of detection of a particular microorganism with utmost high sensitivity but its disadvantage lies in the fact that it fails to differentiate between viable and non-viable microorganisms. So a patient with the non-viable virus in their samples will continue to test positive even if the patients have recovered.”
Public health experts also said repetitive positive results among mild and asymptomatic patients, who have recovered, harm their mental health and aggravates other diseases.
Public health expert and associate professor of preventive and social medicine (PSM) department of Rims, Dr Devesh Kumar, said, “As recovered patients continue to test positive even after they turn asymptomatic and are in good health, they are forced to stay in hospital or at quarantine centres. It makes them get anxious and suffer from depression. The situation worsens when they see severely ill patients in the same ward and start thinking negative.”
He added, “If a patient is asymptomatic, I strongly advise them to stay in home isolation so that they can at least have mental support from their friends and family. They should not be worried about a positive test.”

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